*UPDATE: This was originally posted in January on the old blog*
A meal plan, if it’s going to work, isn’t broken down into weekly measured portions and their associated costs. It’s a mix of this week’s purchases, what’s in your pantry, gifts and ground-scores.
Because let’s be honest – $75 worth of food consumed is drastically different than spending $75 in a week. What if you have a garden? Chickens? A neighbor who brings you dinner on Sundays?
So, because meal planning is meant to be flexible, I’m pitching in my budget as a source of inspiration. I spend $50-$75 a week on me and my husband (plus the weekly family dinner of 6 people, my younger siblings’ weekly visit, and all of the friends that come and devour my muffins. Every. Freaking. Day.) Oh and the roommate who we sometimes share food with. And this includes ingredients for homemade dog food.
But we personally have no other sources of food beyond our budget at the moment. No garden, herbs in the window sill – nothing. I use coupons sparingly – the store ad for wherever I’m shopping and coupons.com. Nothing complex. About 10 minutes a week and I save about $5 each shopping trip.
This week we bought:
Dried black beans, eggs, yellow onions, milk, potatoes, ramen, asparagus, bananas, coffee creamer, steak (on sale), pork chops (on sale), ranch and ground coffee.
Eggs and fruit
Lunch is primarily leftovers
PB&J and boiled eggs
Pickled eggs (just throw boiled eggs in an empty pickle jar with leftover juice. One batch per pickle jar.)
French bread (homemade) and butter
Peanut butter edible cookie dough
Pork chops and zucchini-dill pasta.
We had the weekly family dinner – it’s not our turn yet to cook. On average we cook once a month for this and spend $10-$15 just on this meal because there’s 6-10 adults plus a handful of kids.
Steak and mashed potatoes (mash with leftover water from cooking, not milk, to save some pennies) with green beans.
Chicken and asparagus over buttered noodles.
Potato-leek soup (broth made from pork bones and vegetable scraps).
Chorizo and black bean pasta.
Enchilada rice casserole. With this homemade enchilada sauce.
Meal Prepping I did this week:
These foods were prepared over the course of the weekend. Some was stashed away for later and some was consumed this week.
- 3 loaves of french bread
- 2 quarts of pork bone soup stock
- Meal-sized portions of meat
- Homemade enchilada sauce
This week’s total spent: $58.09
How do you make your budget food-friendly?